With just days to go until they climb into the ring at Madison Square Garden and with both guys utterly sick of one another, the experts are weighing-in on who wins: Josh Taylor or Teofimo Lopez. Who you WANT to see win may differ from who you think will win the fight – Lopez’ nothing short of disgusting verbals having angered many fans, fans who now want to see Taylor make him pay by laying a beating on him – and this one is pretty much a 50 – 50 affair.
The ugly trash-talk from challenger Lopez aside (Taylor could stand no more at the latest media get together, the reigning WBO champ at 140 getting up and walking away, stating how “I’ve heard enough of this guy”) – fans and experts seem to be pretty much split down the middle when it comes to who wins on June 10.
Teddy Atlas, on his podcast The Fight, broke down the fight:
“The naturally, more talented guy, as far as pure, natural talent, that would be Teofimo,” Atlas said. “That doesn’t mean that he is going to win, that doesn’t mean that you are going to be the better guy, because that talent has to be properly developed. Part of me wants to say Taylor, he’s still undefeated, even though he might not deserve to be. But it is over here (in America), it’s not across the pond where Taylor is from, it’s over here, I’m going to say Teofimo. I think that Taylor is a little overestimated as a fighter, I think he is. But, you could also say the same thing about Teofimo with the way things have gone, that he is overestimated.”
In truth, both fighters are coming off less than impressive showings: Taylor in his hugely controversial decision win over Jack Catterall, this a fight that took place over 15 months ago, and Lopez in his split decision win over Sandor Martin, which took place in December. Have both guys peaked? Taylor looked sensational in his wins over Regis Prograis (another close decision but no robbery here, and the fight was excellent) and Jose Carlos Ramirez (when Taylor unified all four belts at 140). While Lopez looked great in upsetting Vasiliy Lomachenko (becoming unified lightweight champ) and before that, in his KO win over Richard Commey.
Both Taylor, 19-0(13) and Lopez, 18-1(13) are still young, Lopez especially at age 25, Taylor being 32, but both men need a stellar performance. Who gets one on June 10?
Again, as hard as it is to not be fully rooting for Taylor to lay a hammering on Lopez due to his simply awful words, this really is a fight that could go either way.